Multiple perspectives of a knowledge-based Innovation Ecosystem : the case of Khalifa Fund for enterprise development in the UAE

Almaainah, K 2021, Multiple perspectives of a knowledge-based Innovation Ecosystem : the case of Khalifa Fund for enterprise development in the UAE , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This research addresses adopts the multiple perspectives theory to explore the key factors of the Innovation Ecosystems in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It offers systemic point of view for how innovation can be transformed from an event to be a sustainable system in the country’s economy to achieve the 2030 economic vision. Such fundamental transformation will rely on the knowledge-based view (adopted in this study) that the previously published research that followed the resources-based view. This view matches the countries plan to move from Oil to non-Oil economy that relies on innovation and human creativity as a key source of wealth. Transforming the economy from the resource view to the knowledge view requires a systemic prospective that addresses the organizational, and personal perspectives beside the technical/resource view. The former two perspectives offer deep insight on cultural, institutional, and political factors that shape the design and implementation of innovation, while the later perspective demonstrate the resources available for such innovation. Linstone’s Multiple Perspective Theory (1981 & 2010) synthesizing this trio perspectives and points out the ecosystem complexity and mechanisms. Accordingly, this thesis presents a knowledge-based framework of Innovation Ecosystems based on Linstone’s systemic view that helps understand the UAE Start-up innovation. Using a case study of the Khalifa Fund, the study analyses UAE’s innovation and ecosystem’s enablers and barriers, targeting three vital sectors, including IT/software start-ups, Non-carbon/Green Production, and life-science sectors. The researcher followed Charmaz’s (2008) Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT) as a design for the research process and theory building. A conceptual framework is built based on the literature review. Then, a concurrent mixed methods approach in two stages (qualitative + quantitative) have been conducted to triangulate semi-structured interviews and exploratory survey. The results of this triangulation have been contrasted against the factors included in the conceptual framework to build a final theoretical framework. The interviews targeted 21 policymakers (Government officials), Khalifa fund practitioners (top and middle Managers) and Universities Innovation consultants. In parallel, an inclusive sample of 60 surveys have been allocated to all current owners of start-ups (entrepreneurs) in the three sectors. Beforehand, an archival analysis has been conducted to develop deep narratives of the fund’s activities, challenges, and overall innovation environment. The research findings point out the multiple perspective theory as a lens to understand the meta-governance and the complexity of knowledge-based innovation ecosystem in non-oil-based gulf context. The agency principle for the UAE decision markers positions the government as a key player towards the innovation strategizing and governance. Accordingly, issues of women representation in the innovation ecosystems were present in the research findings. Issues of firm legitimacy and resource orchestration/marshalling were perceived differently between the policy makers and start-ups owners or innovators. This led to the discovery for innovation factors to be included in an advanced theoretical framework 2. This framework maps the complexity and interactivity of innovation knowledge within the institutional level (at Khalifa Fund), the international level, and the Gulf regional level. Empirical contribution is presented for policy makers and Khalifa Fund officials on how to maintain a meta-innovation ecosystem by capturing the technological advances and facilitate the imports and legal licencing for start-ups. Organisational recommendations are also discussed in terms of enhancing innovation learning and education for current and potential entrepreneurs who aim to innovate products, services, processes, or routines. Personal recommendations are also presented for start-ups owners on how to engage with the policymakers in developing a foresight and a meta-innovation ecosystem.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Fletcher, G (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Khaled Almaainah
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 08:43
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2021 02:30

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